Hundreds of Chinese veterans broke through the government’s containment at all levels on Wednesday and held demonstrations in front of the Beijing Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. They demanded a better solution to their resettlement problems. How can these soldiers be able to organize protest demonstrations of considerable size at the sensitive time before the 19th Congress when Chinese society is so tightly controlled? Will the difficulties that these Chinese veterans have weaken the army’s loyalty to the regime? What will be the impact on the turbulent Chinese society? To answer these questions, VOA invited a group of Chinese scholars to participate in a live discussion.
Yang Jianli, founder of the Human rights organization “Citizen Power” said that for veterans to safeguard their rights is not a new phenomenon. Over the past 20 years, veterans have gone to Beijing to petition three times a year on average. Petitions in the provinces and cities are countless. The Chinese Communist Party at the highest level has always taken military stability as the last guarantee of power. To this end, Xi Jinping has taken great efforts to clean up military corruption. Even so, the army is not necessarily stable.
Gao Wenqian, author of the book The Chronicle of Zhou Enlai, said that many veterans can successfully go to Beijing to petition. In China’s extremely tight stability-maintenance system, it is impossible not to keep the petition plan a secret without leakage. One cannot rule out the possibility that someone will deliberately leak the information and bring the veterans “troubles” to Beijing (in order to) vent their dissatisfaction with the military reform.
Famous political commentator and writer Chen PuoKong said that there is a possibility that, behind the scenes, Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption, military reform, and the disarmament of 300,000 military personnel caused dissatisfaction among the entire military. One cannot rule out that Xi Jinping’s enemies within the Party and the military intended to attack him by encouraging veterans to make trouble, to create difficulties for Xi, and to cause problems for this year’s Two Conferences or the 19th Congress.
Source: VOA, February 24, 2017